Loyalist Burial Ground St. Stephen

On the 28th June 2006 the Loyalist Burial Ground was designated a Local Historic Place for being the final resting place of many Loyalists and for being one of the oldest cemeteries in the St. Stephen area. 

Located on the east side of King Street in St. Stephen, Lot #13 was given by Captain Nehemiah Marks to the Rector, Wardens and Vestry of the Church of England Parish to be used as a burial ground. Following restoration of the cemetery, a memorial to the early settlers was unveiled in 2008. 

During Queen Anne’s War, in response to the French Raid on Deerfield, New Englander Major Benjamin Church raided the Acadian villages of Castine, Maine (then known as Penobscot). From the Raid on Castine, Maine, Church learned that Michel Chartier, who was granted the land of present-day St. Stephen, was building a fort at Passamaquoddy Bay. Church and his men arrived at the Passamaquoddy Bay on board the Province Galley, Gosport and Fearly and several other vessels. Church travelled up the St. Croix River to St. Stephen and, on June 7, 1704, took Chartier by surprise and his family fled into the woods. On June 13, Church reported they were destroying the crops of the Acadians and the Acadians and Natives fired upon Church’s troops and a three hour exchange ensued. Church killed and imprisoned Acadians and Natives, with the total number being 35. One of Church’s men was wounded. They pillaged and plundered the community.

After the Raid on St. Stephen, Church moved on to raid other Acadian villages in the Raid on Grand Pré, the Raid on Piziquid, and the Raid on Chignecto.

At the end of the American Revolution, Loyalists were forced to flee for their lives. On May 23, 1784, a destitute group of about 200 including men, women and children led by Capt. Nehemiah Marks, steered up the St. Croix River to the head of tide and landed on the Canadian banks of the St. Croix River.

In 1784, by a grant under the Great Seal of Nova Scotia, the Loyalists were granted Garden Lots in the Jones Division. Lot# 13 on the east side of King’s Mast Road, known now as King Street, was granted to James Waller, who was an Armed Boatman under the command of Captain Nehemiah Marks. All lots were 6 rods wide and 23 rods deep (30.5m by 115.5m). Captain Nehemiah Marks purchased the lot for 5 pounds and conveyed it to the Rector, Wardens and Vestry of the Church of England Parish to be used as a burial ground.

Loyalist Burial Ground St Stephen

The burial ground continued to be used until 1859 when the St. Stephen Rural Cemetery opened and many of the remains in the Loyalist Cemetery were relocated there. 

Loyalist Burial Ground St Stephen Monument

The Loyalist Burial Ground served St. Stephen until 1863, and marks the final resting place for these early pioneers. However it subsequently fell into disrepair. In 2004, Town Council undertook to transfer legal possession of the Burial Ground from the Anglican Church to the Town. 

Loyalist Burial Ground St Stephen

In 2005, the Loyalist Burial Ground Restoration Committee began work to raise community support and raise funds to restore the site and provide long overdue respect for these founding mothers and fathers. The restoration work culminated with unveiling of a memorial stone on August 3, 2008. 

Loyalist Burial Ground St Stephen Monument

Inscription on Plaque:

Loyalist Burial Ground, 1784-1859

At the end of the American Revolution, Loyalists were forced to flee for their lives. On May 23, 1784, a destitute group of about 200 including men, women and children led by Capt. Nehemiah Marks, steered up the St. Croix River to the head of tide and landed on the Canadian banks of the St. Croix River.

For their loyalty, King George III granted them land, which over time they made prosperous. A large community grew around sh

Shipbuilding and lumbering industries. It became the Town of St. Stephen in 1871.

This monument recognizes the founders of our community, their spouses and their progeny who also are buried here. These men and women struggled and succeeded. They created the foundation for all we enjoy today. We pray this hallowed ground serves as a contemporary reminder of their tenacity and hard work.

Loyalist Burial Ground Restoration Committee, 2008


Resource: United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada

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